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[teacherartexchange] "Preaching to the Choir" - Change in Art Education is needed


From: Judy Decker (judy.decker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Mar 03 2006 - 05:03:23 PST

Dear Art Educators,

This message from Catherine was just TOO good for my eyes only. I know
it is OK to share her words of wisdom with you. I think she has also
signed up for the TAB Choice list serve. I "met" Catherine through the
altered book round robin and tip in exchanges (I'm "Mama Bear").

From Catherine (Catherine see note below):

Montessori is very much like TAB in that it's student driven to a
point. Last year when I was in the classroom my program was choice; we
had all Wednesday morning to devote to art and the students chose
their projects and materials (altered books was the best introduction
to artistic experimentation and discovery for them) I'm back this year
on Wed morning and we're doing a combination. I'm starting the day
with drawing exercises ala Marvin Bartel (another one of my "gurus").
For the past 2 weeks we've been working on packing tape sculptures and
it's a huge I mean HUGE success so far (pictures to come on IAD - but
here is the link to the page
( )

I'm the eternal optimist, but I just have to believe we're on the
precipice of a Renaissance in art education. The pendulum must swing
back and we must realize we have a responsibility to the future of the
planet and nurture a generation of creative thinkers. It's our only
hope. "Preaching to the choir"?

This was just too good and I had to share it.... I made a similar post
(second paragraph) to many lists last week (or was it early this

I wanted to show that you CAN integrate some of your favorite teacher
directed lessons with a choice program. I imagine that after Catherine
finishes her figure drawing units and tape figure unit , she will
introduce some drawing exemplars of master works and will introduce
George Segal. They will compare and contrast what they did with the
tape figures with how Segal worked.... The source of ideas is the same
- different materials were used. they will talk about advantages and
disadvantages in the materials.... etc.

TAB Choice readers - I hope you are "listening". School Arts Magazine
is looking for articles on CHOICE.... I heard that right from the top.
Check out the web site to see requirements for articles. I know images
need to be at least 300 dpi. In my mind, there needs to be a CHOICE
article EACH month - a feature - just like technology has a feature
each month. Our nation/world needs creative thinkers.
I have seen the "monkey-see-monkey-do" approach ruin some kids'
ability to think on their own....(that is what I meant when I said
that I have seen DBAE done wrong in a previous post).

Catherine: I forget what age groups your students are? Elementary? What level?
Catherine, is there any current research that you know about that
shows that Montessori trained students out perform traditional
students (from traditional classroom). I know I have seen some - but
that was many years ago (I read up on Montessori way back in the
1980s). There is a lot of info on line for those interested in the
Montessori Method.


Judy Decker
Incredible Art Department
Incredible Art Resources

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